Local teacher in hot seat for political lesson

November 9, 2008 9:31:18 AM PST
There is national outrage focused on a teacher in Fayetteville.

The teacher's lesson in politics was posted on YouTube and it may land her in big trouble.

In the video (click here to watch), Diane Harris talks about the election with her 5th grade students at Mary McArthur Elementary School.

Harris is a 27-year teaching veteran. Her class was being recorded by a Swedish documentary crew. When Harris asked the students who the supported for president, Cathy Thompson said John McCain.

Harris replied, "And by the way Cathy, the person you picked for President said that our troops will stay in Iraq for another 100 years if they need to. So that means your daddy could be in the military for another hundred years."

In the video, you can see Thompson biting her lip, looking as if she were about to cry.

In an interview this afternoon at her teacher's house with her mom and dad by her side, Thompson told Eyewitness News she was about to cry but not because of anything Harris said.

"I remember that because I was starting to cry because I was, or I was going to start to cry because I was nervous because I was worried about dad when he was in Iraq," Thompson said.

Harris was emotional when she defended her action, saying what appears on You Tube is edited and doesn't reflect the lengthy discussion that happened in her class.

Although, she admits if she had to do it over again, there are things she would change.

"I would change the comment that I made toward Cathy by saying that your father could stay in the military for a hundred years," Harris said. "I would change that comment."


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